Black women are strong, fearless, multi-faceted and extremely talented so it’s no surprise that we completely dominated 2018. Instead of finding a seat at the table, this year, we built our own and used our voices to change culture, break barriers and pave the way for generations to come. In 2018 alone, Black women were elected into Congress, sold out stadiums, changed the stigma around mental health, sold millions of books and closed deals that’ll help push the culture forward. I think it’s safe to say that Black women won 2018.
To celebrate all of this winning, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite ladies who slayed in their careers and personal lives all 2018. Scroll down to see our list of Black women who won 2018.
1. 1. Ayanna PressleySource:Getty
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley is no stranger to making history. After being the first Black woman to serve on Boston’s city council, she went on to break barriers by defeating the 10-term incumbent Michael Capuano in the 2018 primary elections. When it came to the midterm elections, she did not face a Republican challenger which made her the first Black women to be elected into the House of Representatives from Massachusetts. Ayanna was part of a record number of women of color who were nominated in the 2018 midterm elections and was one of the wave of progressive female candidates of color committed to changing our current political climate. Way to go Ayanna!
2. The Ladies of Red Table TalkSource:Getty
Jada Pinkett-Smith along with her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, are the brains behind the mega-hit Facebook series, “The Red Table Talk”. The series has changed the way we view and discuss topics such as colorism, domestic violence, relationships, marriage, divorce, mental health, parenting and so much more. The ladies have offered this raw and unfiltered take on taboo topics that impact the Black community while allowing a safe space for different perspectives to be heard and understood – a win for us all.
3. 3. The Ladies of Black Panther (Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, and Letitia WrightSource:Getty
Earlier this year “Black Panther” made history by being one of the biggest movies of all time, grossing over $1 billion globally. The all-star cast was filled with Black girl magic as Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright co-stared in the film and allowed young Black girls to be seen, celebrated and represented in Hollywood. The lovely ladies of “Black Panther” stole the show with their heroic, strong, fearless and tech savvy characters and had us screaming “Wakanda forever!” all year long.
Beyonce probably makes this list every year, but this year in particular she became the first Black woman to headline Coachella and transformed the music festival into “Beychella”, giving us a legendary performance that included a Destiny’s Child reunion and an ode to HBCU culture in the middle of Coachella Valley. Aside from taking over Coachella, she gave Black Excellence a boost by giving young people of color a shot at achieving their dreams including Tyler Mitchell, the youngest and first African American photographer to have their work featured on the cover of Vogue.
5. Meghan MarkleSource:Getty
Former “Suits” star, Meghan Markel, became British royalty earlier this year after her marriage to Prince Harry, making her the new Duchess of Sussex. Although Markel was called out for being biracial, she made it clear that she was proud of her ethnicity and made sure the world knew she comes from Black culture. While she might not necessarily be the first Black royal, the world stood still as she was welcomed into the Royal family, making many young girls of color believe in a real life Black princess.
6. Angie ThomasSource:Getty
Author of the New York Times best-selling novel, “The Hate U Give”, Angie Thomas released a groundbreaking movie this year by the same name depicting the rawness and realness of what it means to be Black in America. Directed by George Tillman Jr. “The Hate U Give” stars Amandla Stenberg and features Regina Hall, Common, Issa Rae and more and is a cold reminder of our resilience and excellence as Black people.
7. Shonda RhimesSource:Getty
This year, producer, screenwriter and author, Shonda Rhimes, proudly announced that she’s now the highest paid showrunner in Hollywood after signing a deal with Netflix to produce a new series worth $150 million. The ‘TGIT’ creator’s new deal will allow her to create original content for the streaming service which gives Shondaland endless possibilities at excellence.
8. Ava DuvernaySource:Getty
Writer and director Ava Duvernay is the epitome of success. She’s living proof that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. She first picked up a camera in her early 30s and hasn’t slowed down since. After producing some of our favorite shows such as Queen Sugar and the highly emotional Netflix documentary, 13th, she’s just landed a multi-million-dollar deal with Warner Bros.
9. Lena WaitheSource:Getty
Lena Waithe has broken down barriers for many in Hollywood but especially for Black women as we’re reminded to stand in our authentic selves without fear. Lena serves as a leader of Black culture and beacon of hope for the LGBT community as she’s unapologetically herself no matter what room she’s in. This year alone, Lena gained notoriety with her Showtime original, “The Chi” and joined forces with BET to produce a “Boomerang” series, coming to television in 2019. Looks like Lena has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
10. Michelle ObamaSource:Getty
Michelle Obama has been winning all her life but this year she especially raised the bar and set the standard for what it means to be a true class act. In 2018, our favorite First Lady released her highly anticipated book, Becoming, and after only being on shelves for just a few short weeks, it’s already been named the fastest selling book of the year. Becoming details the First Lady’s inspirational journey to from a bright-eyed girl growing up in Chicago to being married to one of the most powerful men in American history.